Dawn Powell (1896–1965) wrote novels about the artist’s struggle for recognition. Her own struggle for it and the recent recovery of her work make a poignant story. I have heretofore been reluctant to accept the idea that a full-fledged Powell revival is in progress. By now, though, the evidence has piled up. Her books have continued to be reissued throughout this decade, and her name now pops up in literary reviews when the subject is undeservedly forgotten writers making a comeback. Then, too, the indefatigable Tim Page has built up a head of steam in his noble crusade to bring Dawn Powell to the attention of the reading public.

As Page points out in Dawn Powell: A Biography, the Ohio-born Powell is a resolutely autobiographical writer.[1] Nearly all of her fifteen novels have to do with the sensitive Midwesterner’s yearning--sometimes fulfilled, sometimes not—for a...


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